Nov. 19, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - In what has become a common theme in the early portion of the 2013-14 season, the Tulane University women's basketball team posted another lopsided victory as the Green Wave scored the game's first 13 points and rolled to an 80-52 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday evening in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The win was Tulane's third of 25-or-more points in as many games to start the year - something not previously accomplished in the 38-year history of the program - and the Green Wave are 3-0 for the fourth consecutive season. Tulane used a balanced offensive attack as six players finished with double-digit scoring totals, including a season-best 16-point effort by junior forward Tiffany Dale. The victory was Tulane's 10th in a row over the Lady Lions dating back to 1987, as Southeastern Louisiana fell to 1-3 on the year.
"First of all, I thought we ran the ball pretty well," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "I thought we got some easy baskets in transition. That was one of our keys tonight. When you look at 80 points, a lot of that didn't just come on half-court offenses. We ran and got some quick points there.
"It was really good to see Tiffany Dale feel confident. I think she's a big part of our offense. She finished 8-for-10, and that's a great night. That takes a lot of pressure off of our offense when she can do that.
Junior wing Adesuwa Ebomwonyi finished second on the team with 15 points and completed her second double-double of the young season with a team-best 11 rebounds. Junior point guard Jamie Kaplan narrowly misses tallying her second double-double with 13 points and a game-high nine assists.
Freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl chipped in with 12 points on the strength of a 4-of-7 performance beyond the 3-point arc, while both sophomore center Chinwe Duru and freshman guard Courtnie Latham added 11 each. Duru led the Green Wave defense with three blocked shots while Dale headlined the squad with three steals.
As a team, Tulane connected at a 44.7 percentage from the field (34-of-76), including a 17-of-32 showing (.531) in the second half. One of the big reasons for the lopsided score was a 51-31 rebounding advantage with 23 coming off the offensive glass. Twenty-six of the Green Wave's 34 makes were set up by assists, the most by Tulane since having 26 in last year's 81-41 win over Loyola-New Orleans on Jan. 7 and a number that ranks tied for seventh in the school's single-season record book.
"There were a lot of positives," Stockton added. "We were shooting 44 percent and getting 23 offensive rebounds. We're getting a big percentage of our misses and there's not a whole lot of misses. It was a good night on the offensive end. Defensively, I feel that we still had some breakdowns at times but we're still holding our opponents pretty low and have been able to put some points on the board."
Dale scored the game's opening points with a layup 1:16 after the opening tip, but that was just the start of things to come for the Green Wave as Ebomwonyi followed with a 3-pointer and both Kaplan and Dale hit consecutive layups over the next four possessions to put Tulane on top 13-0.
The Lady Lions did not score until the 14:10 mark when Annessa De La Cruz buried a 3-pointer and Southeastern Louisiana cut the deficit to seven on a trey by Adrina LaVern 1:47 later. That, however, would be as close as SLU would get the rest of the way. After trading the next four points, Tulane used a 12-4 run midway through the opening half to go up 27-12 and led by as many as 18 in the stanza when Kaplan nailed a jumper to make it 39-21 with 58 seconds before halftime.
Southeastern Louisiana scored the final three points of the period to send Tulane into the locker room with a 15-point lead. A Duru layup and another Ebomwonyi 3-pointer to open the second half made it a 20-point affair and the lead never dipped below 16 the rest of the contest. The Green Wave advantage swelled to as many as 32 at 71-39 with 7:59 to play and again at 80-48 at the one-minute mark. The Lady Lions' Aja Gibson hit back-to-back baskets on Southeastern Louisiana's next two possessions to account for the final score.
"The teams coming in are really solid teams," Stockton said of the Green Wave's first three foes. "I am surprised that we're winning by as much as we are, especially with as small as our bench is now...We've been able to stay out of foul trouble. We've been able to switch our defenses up a little bit to do that. I think that's probably been the best sign over the first three games with the way officials are calling now.
"We worked a long time as coaches to try and work on the fundamentals, and our players are doing a good job with that. I think we're playing aggressively. We're not putting a lot of teams on the free throw line. And also, just having so many rebounds has kept us in the game."
Gibson and Nanna Pool shared team-high scoring honors for Southeastern Louisiana with 11 each, and Pool completed a double-double with 11 rebounds. Elizabeth Styles led the Lady Lions with five assists and a game-high four steals while Gibson paced the team with a pair of blocked shots
The Green Wave return to action over the weekend when they travel to North Carolina where they will take on UNC-Wilmington on Friday and North Carolina State on Sunday. Tulane's net home game is slated for Saturday, Nov. 30, when the Wave play host to Ole Miss.
For tickets to that game, as well as future Tulane athletics events, contact the Tulane Ticket Office. The ticket office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Jr. Center, and fans can also order tickets on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or by calling (504) 861-WAVE (9283).